Risk Factors for Dog Bites to People in São Paulo, Brazil - Abstract
Millions of people are bitten by dogs each year in Brazil and worldwide. Dog and cat bites have been studied in many countries, both from the standpoint of rabies control and animal behavior, but not always assesses risk factors. This survey aimed to evaluate the characteristics of biting dogs that would allow establishing risk factors for aggression by this specie in the municipality of Araçatuba, SP, Brasil, by using a logarithmic equation. This case-control study was conducted with an analysis involving 85 questionnaires regarding non-biting dogs and 99 related to biting dogs. Statistical analysis included the chi-square test for categorical variables and t test for numerical variables, followed by Binary Logistic Regression, settling then the odds ratio (OR) for certain variables. The chances of bites by male dogs were three times more likely than for females, and intact dogs were 4.28 times more likely to have bitten than neutered dogs. Logistic regression analysis confirmed that each child present in a household increased by 1.70 times the chance of dog bites. The presence of adults, in contrast, was considered a protective factor, since each adult present in the household decreased by 35% the chances of attacks by dogs. Results and examples presented in this paper could contribute to the integration of prevention programs and responsible ownership, with the aim to guide and illustrate parents and children on the consequences of ownership and living with a dog.